Why We Worry?
Worrying is when you allow anxiety and fear to pop into your head. It is an invisible activity we all do one time or another. It usually has no limits. So why do some of us spend so much time worrying? Well, sometimes worry could be a good thing to help us get on top of matters by allowing us to play out different scenarios and create various plans to overcome uncertainties. We need the inbuilt ability for anxiety to deal with danger and fundamental threats to our basic survival. But more often than not, it is like a broken record that keeps coming back to us and is exhausting. When this happens, we need some positive actions to reduce worrying and anxiety.
What is Worry
Worry is the act of feeling unsettled and being troubled over a particular problem or situation. It is a self-talk activity that originates from anxiety and fear for the unknown, where we are bothered by a problem and project possible negative scenarios that may happen now or in the future in which we are afraid, or feel we are unable to handle.
A little bit of worrying from time to time is a normal part of life as we face life’s daily trials and tribulations. However, when you experience constant worry and negative thinking repeatedly, and if you cannot disengage, it can take its toll on your health and interfere with your daily life. Being stuck at pondering your worries
- does not help you, and
- makes it impossible for you to focus in the present moment.
Cause of Worrying
Worry may be triggered by stressful events that occur in your life, especially major changes, such as:
- Work problem
- Health problem
- Personal problem
- Relationship problem
- Loss of job
- Financial difficulty
With the world locking down and everyone having to stay home, many individuals are released by their employers to cut cost, as establishments and businesses close temporary. Many have lost their source of income. On top of this, some may be fighting illnesses, including the latest most rampant infection COVID-19. The healthcare system is strained and many of us are bored from staying home, angry and/or depressed that this is ongoing and worry sets in.
Working through Worries
Worry is a type of thought-pattern where our mind repetitively focus on the problem and the consequences that may arise from the problem. To work through this, we need to understand:
- Our negative thoughts that derive from worrying are not the problem. It is how we respond to our thoughts that creates the problem of worrying too much.
- The mind does not differentiate between imaginary and reality.
- Thoughts are just our ideas, impressions, and beliefs we have about ourselves, others and the world around us. They are mental cognisance that creates the perception of our views on any given situation, experience or person (for better, worse, or neutral). Thoughts are often shaped by life experiences, upbringing, genetics, and education. If you are conscious of your thoughts and attitudes, you can choose to change them.
We can’t prevent worrying but we can learn to balance this negative act with positive actions.
Here are 5 Powerful Steps to Reduce Worrying and Anxiety
- Observe your thoughts and feelings. When you worry, admit you are vulnerable and that a bad scenario might happen.
- Separate your thoughts from reality. The goal is to pay attention to your worry thought instead of looking through it. View your worry thoughts as separate from you, and remind yourself that your thoughts are not reality, they are not actual events and they may or may not happen.
- Label your worry, accept it is there and let it go. When a worry pops up, label it as “a worrying thought.” It is not you. Do not identify with it nor let it overtake you. Think realistically of the “what if” worst scenarios. Write them down and put them as your thoughts. Pay attention to your emotions as you are thinking those thoughts. How do you feel? Write them down too. Learn to observe your thoughts and emotions as you are doing this. Reflect on how you can take charge of them.
- Control where your thoughts lead you. Actively shift your mind to focus on more positive aspects of the situation. Is there anything you can do? What steps can you take if it happens? Take your time in mindfully looking at the scenario and come up with a positive realistic plan based on your values. The more clarity you have (about your values and direction), the more willing you are to do the work. Trust your plan will succeed to overcome the situation of worry you have.
- Practice mindfulness to feed your mind with the right food. Channel your thought energy into gratitude, improvement, and positivity. Learning to control and direct your thoughts to the present moment and gratitude will greatly help you to reduce anxiety and depression.
Your attitude towards coping with worry and anxiety is important.
Remember, your thoughts and worry are not you.
Learn to Observe them, Control them and Rule over them.
Whoever is stronger wins.